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International Student Center:

Travel Information for International Students


Required Documents for Re-entry
I-20 Travel Signature:
F-1 visa students will need a travel signature from the International Student Center on their I-20 in order to return to the US from travel outside of the country.If you do not have a travel signature on your I-20, you will be stopped at the US Port of Entry.(A signature on the I-20 is not needed for travel within the United States).Travel signatures are only given to students who are maintaining their F-1 status; students who are out of status are not eligible for travel signatures.
Please note that it takes 5-7 days to process a travel signature request at the International Student Office; please plan accordingly.
There are no same day signatures!
To re-enter the U.S., F-1 visa students must carry the following documents:
1.  Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months)2.  Valid F-1 visa (except students from Canada)3.  Valid I-20 (with a recent travel signature on page 2)4.  OPT students:  Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card
F-1 Visa Renewal:
Please contact the nearest foreign embassy in the U.S. to inquire about visa and travel requirements for visitors from other countries.
For information, please visit the following websites:
Your F-1 visa must be valid in order for you to return to the United States; please check the expiration date on your F-1 visa before traveling.When applying to renew your visa, you must first obtain documentation verifying your status from the International Student Center.Specifically you will need a travel signature on your I-20, an official (sealed in an envelope) transcript from IVC and a letter indicating your current status at the college.You are advised to check the US embassy website to determine what other documents you will need to submit for the visa renewal.For information regarding visa renewal you may visit the International Student webpage at  
Travel to Canada, Mexico & Adjacent Islands:
 A student in F-1 visa status can re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico and "adjacent islands" (except Cuba) with an expired nonimmigrant visa.  This is known as Automatic Revalidation.  Students cannot exceed 30 days outside the United States and the I-20 must have a recent signature.  IMPORTANT: Students must have a printout of their I-94 Arrival/Departure record when leaving the U.S. to successfully re-entry to the U.S.
Citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea, and Cuba are not eligible for the automatic revalidation benefit and are required to have a valid visa for re-entry.
Students who are traveling to Mexico or the Caribbean by cruise ship must contact the cruise line before making travel arrangements to confirm they will recognize automatic revalidation and allow them to travel outside the U.S. without a valid F-1 visa.
The adjacent islands include:
Saint Pierre, Miquelon, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea  [Reference INA, Section 101(b)(5)]
For more information, please review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection fact sheet on Automatic Revalidation at:
Traveling to Other Countries:
Always check the visa requirements for the country you are traveling to before making any travel arrangements.   A visa may be required to enter certain countries depending on your country of citizenship.  Please visit for a list of foreign embassies/consulates in the US.
For more  information, please visit the following websites:

If you have any questions, you may contact the International Student Center by email at or call the International Student Center at 949-451-5414 and schedule an appointment with your advisor.


Christina Delgado
International Student Program Director

Maria Lopez
International Student Program Specialist

David Chang
International Student Program Technician

Julia Rozova
International Student Program Technician

T: 949-451-5414
O: Student Services Center, Room SSC 140 


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